read more - It's protein, it's from a well-known fitness brand, it should be good for you right? Not fast. With the rapid emergence from the protein bar market, it can be easy to fall prey to a great looking package along with a brand name "you can trust" because of so many options to choose from. Nevertheless this is one of the biggest pitfalls you possibly can make when trying to inject ready-made health food, such as protein bars, in your diet. Bottom line: Because it's "formulated for success" or "engineered to provide you with maximum performance" doesn't mean that's forever the situation. As with anything from purchasing a car to getting a brand new blender, it pays to complete your research.
When picking out a protein bar, I recommend looking at the following main areas:
Overall Fat/Saturated Fat - You'll need some fat in your diet. However you don't need lots of saturated fat, and even another fats should be used moderation. One of the first things in a protein bar is the fat and more importantly the fats content. You would be shocked at just how much saturated fat is in some of these things. Generally, a great tip-off that this might be the case will be the flavor - anything with "creamy peanut butter" or "chocolate fudge", etc. may not be a great choice. Your daily nutrients and vitamins based on a 2,000 calorie meals are 20g - and really its not necessary this much - and some of these bars contain half or more of that value.
Carbohydrates - Less concerning the total amount in your choice, plus more about the break up of that amount. What you want is high fiber content. However what you'll see a lot of the time is high sugar content. Sometimes shockingly so, such as most of the carbs originate from sugar. It's OK to have some, especially if you are taking this after a workout, however, you don't want 28g of carbs and also have 27 of those originate from sugar. Fiber helps your current digestion as well as keeps you full longer.
Protein - Just how much are you actually getting in comparison to the two categories above? It may sound obvious, but in general a good protein bar is going to be giving you around 20g of protein. If you're not getting that, you ought to at least see proportional decreases within the other categories. If not, you're really only getting carbs and fats, along with a smattering of protein.
"All Natural" Labeling - Another big marketing technique - "All Natural" will not necessarily equate to "All Good". Sugar, saturated fats, etc. - all of these exist in nature. Maybe the source is a bit better, however the ingredients remain.
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